Tree Davis branches out with forestry stewardship

By March 7, 2011

Daniel Durrand and Clare Callahan of Davis learn to care for a young tree in Wildhorse as part of a Tree Davis young tree pruning and tree care event Feb. 19. Courtesy photo

By David Robinson

Tree Davis is launching a new Urban Forestry Stewardship Program and invites interested members of the public to attend an informational session at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 11. The meeting will take place in the Veterans’ Memorial Center Game Room, 203 E. 14th St.

The program will train 40 to -50 Davis residents in young tree monitoring and early problem detection techniques. Working in pairs, participants will adopt between five and 10 city of Davis street or greenbelt shade trees planted in the past several years.

Participants will attend four lectures by volunteer experts who will discuss:

* Growth patterns and pruning considerations to improve tree structure;

* Characteristics of tree species planted in Davis;

* Identification and mitigation of factors that prevent successful tree establishment; and

* Measurement of tree performance for updating the inventory of trees.

The program, while an opportunity for local residents to learn more about young tree care, also is critical to the successful establishment of newly planted city trees. If not properly monitored and maintained, trees can die from insufficient water, too much water, incorrect staking, competition with weeds or lawns, as well as diseases and pests.

Urban forestry stewardship volunteers will play a key role in keeping Davis green, clean and cool. According to the Alliance for Community Trees, streets with little or no shade need to be repaved twice as often as those with 30 percent tree cover, and just three strategically placed trees can decrease utility bills by 50 percent.

Trees also reduce water runoff from rain, and they clean the water that does run off, thereby reducing the need for costly storm water control and water treatment facilities.

According to the Alliance for Community Trees, each year an acre of trees absorbs the amount of carbon produced by driving a car 26,000 miles, and trees cool city heat islands between 10 and 20 degrees, thus reducing ozone levels and helping cities meet air quality standards required for disbursement of federal funds.

By working together, volunteers will have the chance to take ownership and responsibility for Davis’ urban forest. Urban forestry stewardship volunteers will be able to increase the survivorship and performance of city trees for years to come and educate their neighbors to ensure everyone has the skills to care for our community’s trees.

For more information about Tree Davis’ Urban Forestry Stewardship Program and to learn more about the upcoming informational session, visit http://www.treedavis.org or e-mail [email protected]

— David Robinson is president of the Tree Davis board of directors. This column appears monthly.

Special to The Enterprise

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